Marvel Studios announced in December that following the death of Chadwick Boseman, the studio had no plans to recast anyone else in the role of Black Panther for the film's upcoming sequel. However, fans have started asking the studio to honor the late actor in a different way. Entertainment Tonight reports a petition has been making the rounds, urging studio president Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito and Ryan Coogler to "reconsider their decision, and recast the role of 'T'Challa' in the Black Panther franchise."
Executed by film reviewer Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette, Noisette defines his position in a video warning the dangers of not continuing to feature the beloved character, worrying that this would mean erasure of Black Panther altogether. "If Marvel Studios removes T'Challa, it would be at the expense of the audiences (especially Black boys and men) who saw themselves in him," the petition states. "That also includes the millions of fans who were inspired by the character as well. By not recasting, it could stifle the opportunity for one of the most popular, leading Black superheroes to add on to their legacy. The #1 way to kill a legend, is to stop telling their story."
"This petition is merely asking to continue the portrayal of T'Challa in the MCU. #RecastTChalla is a call to fulfill the role that Chadwick Boseman worked so hard for the world to see," it says. "T'Challa's character was only scratching the surface with his story in the MCU, and there is so much more left to tell." Boseman died in August 2020, after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43 years old. Marvel Studios, as part of Disney, declared that it would do nothing to recast or digitally recreate T'Challa in Black Panther 2, but made no mention of what would become of the role in future projects.
At the time of his death, Angela Bassett, who plays King T'Challa's mother in the Black Panther films, revealed to Entertainment Tonight that if the franchise wants to move forward without its main character, everyone "has to do a major pivot and they are still working on that now because none of us knew anything."
"It's a tremendous loss but Kevin [Feige] and the Marvel universe and Ryan, the director, the writer from before, they are committed to telling [a story] and equally as much as we can, equally planned. So we are looking forward to that. Looking forward to what they come up with," Bassett said. "[Chadwick's] legacy, his loss, the love and appreciation that we have for who he was and what he shared with us cannot be [replaced]… It is missed and appreciated and cannot be duplicated. It's a tremendous honor and, yes, he is completely irreplaceable."